888sport ambassador Neil Callan (@neilcallan78) gives his Day 4 tips and best bets ahead of Friday at Royal Ascot...
Wednesday was amazing. Rising Star had been running consistently but it was obviously a surprise that she won. There’s no room for error at Royal Ascot and everything just fell perfectly for her. Those are the sort of days you want.
Ascot is the Mecca of racing and if there’s any place to put your name up then it’s there. I’d been away for a long time and you have to build things up again.
I knew the filly, I’d ridden her a couple of times and I always said to Marco [Botti] that she needs everything to go right. She can over-race if they go too slow and if they go too quick, she sometimes doesn’t finish her race off.
After a furlong and a half, we’d got into a great position from stall 17 and it was just whether she was good enough at the end.
I had the option to go round them or save ground up the inside. Turning in, I had loads under me, so I felt it was best to stay there. She arrived there so easy and she had that kick at the end.
It’s great that it worked out and it’s great to be part of the team with Marco. I was thrilled for everyone at the yard – it means so much to all of them.
It was also nice to get the prize off Barry [Geraghty], my fellow 888sport ambassador. You couldn’t make it up!
Albany Stakes – 2:30
Like I’ve said all week, the two-year-old races are difficult to get a proper handle on as they haven’t met each other yet.
Meditate has won both her starts for Ballydoyle so she has to be respected. I was very impressed with Mawj at Newmarket.
Saeed bin Suroor hasn’t had many decent two-year-olds in recent years, but this one could be.
Commonwealth Cup – 3:05
This race has been a great addition to the calendar as it gives the three-year-old sprinters the chance to win a Group 1 against their own age group before testing themselves in races like the July Cup.
Twilight Jet is a very good horse on his day. He won well at Naas last month and I can see him running a big race, but I’d say Perfect Power is the one they all have to beat.
The filly I won on at Bath last weekend [Royal Aclaim] actually beat him in a novice at Newcastle last year, but he’s obviously improved massively since then.
The key thing for him is coming back to six furlongs as he didn’t seem to get home in the Guineas. He won the Norfolk last year and then followed up in the Prix Morny and Middle Park, so we know he’s a top class sprinter.
You can’t rule out El Caballo either for Karl Burke, he’s won six in a row. Karl’s horses have been running really well and Dramatised showed how good she is when winning the Queen Mary on Wednesday.
This lad did well in the Sandy Lane and even though he’ll have to step forward to win this, you couldn’t rule that out.
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes – 3:40
Another really hard mile and a half Ascot handicap. Just Fine is the obvious one for The Queen and Sir Michael Stoute after his fine third at the Dante meeting. I’m sure he’s been kept back for this since then.
Contact has won his last two and Mashhoor won well at the Curragh last month for Johnny Murtagh.
Coronation Stakes – 4:20
This is one of the races of the week. It’s hugely competitive and you could give a good chance to five or six of them.
Inspiral was a brilliant two-year-old and was favourite for the Guineas all winter, but she wasn’t right and connections took the correct decision to wait for this.
She’s a very good filly and deserves to be favourite, but she won’t have it all her own way first time up.
Cachet was excellent in the Guineas and then ran a cracker to be second to Mangoustine in the French Guineas who she takes on again in this.
Discoveries can go well and I also wouldn’t rule out Prosperous Voyage. It’s a very interesting race.
Sandringham Stakes – 5:00
Richard Hannon’s Heredia is unbeaten and she’s very good. I was third to her at York and was really impressed with how she did it.
I thought she looked like a Group 3 horse that day. She’s definitely got improvement in her as well so she’s one for the shortlist.
Charlie Fellowes and Hayley Turner have won two of the last three runnings of this race and they team up with Fresh Hope who should run well.
King Edward VII Stakes – 5:35
Changingonftheguard ran well to finish fifth in the Derby. I said after Chester that I thought he’d be a future Gold Cup horse.
The stiff track will suit him, it’s just if he’s recovered from Epsom. I can definitely see him running in a Gold Cup in a year or two.
The dangers are Ottoman Fleet and Lysander but again, this isn’t a very strong running of the King Edward VII.
Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes – 6:10
I wouldn’t really know where to start with this to be honest – a 30-runner five furlong handicap!
Korker bolted up at York last month and Karl Burke won this race last year, so he should give you a run for your money.
*Prices accurate at the time of publication*